Trump is tired of waiting for State and local leaders to do their job and step up and protect public property from marauding bands of historical illiterates. He’s taking direct action to stop it.
And he’s doing so without taking the bait of either overstepping his Presidential Authority or even using his lawful powers of sending in the National Guard to quell the riots, which would inevitably be spun by the Press (the AV department of the Democrat party) as some kind of a Hitlerian Jackboot response.
It’s a classic heads-I-win-tails-you-lose setup against the President. But he’s taking action in a different way.
I just had the privilege of signing a very strong Executive Order protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues – and combatting recent Criminal Violence. Long prison terms for these lawless acts against our Great Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2020
Here are some excerpts of the Executive Order:
The first duty of government is to ensure domestic tranquility and defend the life, property, and rights of its citizens. Over the last 5 weeks, there has been a sustained assault on the life and property of civilians, law enforcement officers, government property, and revered American monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial. Many of the rioters, arsonists, and left-wing extremists who have carried out and supported these acts have explicitly identified themselves with ideologies — such as Marxism — that call for the destruction of the United States system of government.
Anarchists and left-wing extremists have sought to advance a fringe ideology that paints the United States of America as fundamentally unjust and have sought to impose that ideology on Americans through violence and mob intimidation. They have led riots in the streets, burned police vehicles, killed and assaulted government officers as well as business owners defending their property, and even seized an area within one city where law and order gave way to anarchy. During the unrest, innocent citizens also have been harmed and killed.
…Individuals and organizations have the right to peacefully advocate for either the removal or the construction of any monument. But no individual or group has the right to damage, deface, or remove any monument by use of force.
…In the midst of these attacks, many State and local governments appear to have lost the ability to distinguish between the lawful exercise of rights to free speech and assembly and unvarnished vandalism. They have surrendered to mob rule, imperiling community safety, allowing for the wholesale violation of our laws, and privileging the violent impulses of the mob over the rights of law-abiding citizens. Worse, they apparently have lost the will or the desire to stand up to the radical fringe and defend the fundamental truth that America is good, her people are virtuous, and that justice prevails in this country to a far greater extent than anywhere else in the world.
…My Administration will not allow violent mobs incited by a radical fringe to become the arbiters of the aspects of our history that can be celebrated in public spaces. State and local public officials’ abdication of their law enforcement responsibilities in deference to this violent assault must end.[emphasis added]
Here’s what The President is going to do about it:
a) prosecute to the fullest extent anyone who trashes federal property… up to 10 years in prison. Use other similar statutes as applicable.
b) prosecute to the fullest extent of the law any person or entity involved in inciting riots.
c) prosecute to the fullest extent anyone who destroys religious property
d) “…withhold Federal support tied to public spaces from State and local governments that have failed to protect public monuments, memorials, and statues from destruction or vandalism.”
e) “…withhold Federal support from State and local law enforcement agencies that have failed to protect public monuments, memorials, and statues from destruction or vandalism. Unwillingness to enforce State and local laws in the face of attacks on our history, whether because of sympathy for the extremists behind this violence or some other improper reason, casts doubt on the management of these law enforcement agencies.”
Section 5: authorizing, for 6 months, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or the Administrator of General Services, to request Federal assistance in protecting federal property.